September 6th, 2009
05:49 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama did not order Van Jones' resignation, adviser says

Van Jones speaks during the National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada, in August.
Van Jones speaks during the National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada, in August.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The resignation of Obama administration figure Van Jones, following controversies over a petition he had signed and his comments about Republicans, did not come at the request of the president, the White House senior adviser said Sunday.

"Absolutely not - this was Van Jones' own decision," David Axelrod told NBC's "Meet the Press" when asked if the president had ordered the resignation.

The chairman of the House Republican Conference, Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana, had called for Jones to resign or be fired.

"I think Van Jones did the right thing," Pence said Sunday about the resignation. "His extremist views and coarse rhetoric have no place in this administration."

Jones has frequently been dubbed a "green-jobs czar" for the administration.

"The president should suspend any future appointment of so called czars while the administration and the Congress carefully examines the background and qualifications of the more than 30 individuals who've been appointed to these czar positions," said Pence, speaking to reporters. "And the Congress ought to initiate a thorough inquiry into the constitutionality of this practice which has spanned Republican and Democrat administrations."

In a statement Saturday night, the White House said Jones was giving up his post at the Council on Environmental Quality, where he helped coordinate government agencies focused on delivering millions of green jobs to the ailing U.S. economy.

"On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me," Jones said in the statement. "They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide."

Updated:5:49 p.m.

Full story


Filed under: Obama administration • Popular Posts • Van Jones
soundoff (179 Responses)
  1. leticia

    Van Jones is a vicious hard core Marxist/Leninist. CNN has never reported on his past. CNN is partnering with Obama and Van Jones.

    September 6, 2009 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  2. leticia

    So CNN, you quote Mr. Van Jones as saying people told lies about him. Tell us what those lies are CNN. I have not found any lies reported by Beck, Limbaugh, or anyone else.

    Mr. Van Jones is a danger to this country and a confidant of Mr. Obama. Why does Mr. Obama hate America ?

    September 6, 2009 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  3. sensible Cape Coral FL

    The Republicans are really getting desperate if they have to resort to stupidity like this. How about some creative thinking for a change. guys?

    September 6, 2009 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  4. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    Fox has been all over this story for weeks, unfortunately it will come as a surprise to those who only read or listen to the state run media which slobber all over Obama. MSNBC probably won't mention it at all and if they do will have some wing nut claiming its racist.

    September 6, 2009 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  5. bassman

    How does this story go unnoticed by the major media outlets? CNN covered this story on Friday. ABC, CBS, and NBC all ignored this.

    September 6, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  6. champly

    The way CNN has handled Van Jones is very instructive.

    Your support for Mr. Obama no matter how he damages the U.S. is disgusting.

    CNN is not a "news" organization. It is a political arm of the Obama administration. If CNN was not a political arm of the Obama administration it would have outlined the sordid Marxist/Leninist/Castroite life of Van Jones. But all we see is that he resigend because he signed a truther petition. And the little tea bag Blitzer is attacking talk show hosts that disagree with Obama. CNN is playing with fire.

    September 6, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  7. Lindie

    Whats so wrong in believing that top officials in the last administration has something to do with 911? If they would raise the alert levels just to scare people into getting their votes, I think they new of the inpending attack on 911 and they didn't do enough to try to stop it........after all the 911 issue was and has and still is their main selling point for the Bush administration and republicians party......I wouldn't put anything passed the last administration especially Chaney.......this man didn't play by the rules or the laws of this country and that makes him the biggest terrorist of all........The republicains will do anything to smear anyone.....especially anyone in this administration..........I have always voted for the best person regardless of Party.......but you can bet I will never vote republician again.........do unto others as you would have them do unto you, isn't that what God said..........with all the disrepect that the GOP and their followers are showing this President is totally unexceptible........and come 2010 and 2012 we will remember their words and actions.....

    September 6, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  8. GI Joe

    I believe Cheney and Bush loved it – it gave them a cause and a reason to get their contracting friends on the dole in Iraq. Bet they have a nice retirement fund.

    You right-wing radicals are fools for blindly following Cheney and his puppet (W) all those years.

    September 6, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  9. Paul

    when they did it to a conservative it was bringing out the truth. when it is done to a liberal it is a smear campaign and lies. funny how the lies where said by Mr. Jones.

    September 6, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  10. Obummer - One and Done

    How did this guy get into the White House at all? What other radicals are still there ?

    September 6, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  11. CAT

    You republican racists really are idiots aren't you

    September 6, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  12. Latasha

    He is the poster boy for the saying "Think before you speak!"

    September 6, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  13. S Callahan New York

    This is a little unsettling to me......one...people change..their ideas and perceptions change with time. Has anyone sought out what he currently believes? I have signed online petitions in the past...and probably the same one he did..not because I believed there was an inside job, but because I wanted to know the facts it wasn't an inside job. How wrong is that? It's not. Our country is idel...this has got to stop...remember the CNN blogs a year or so ago with so much enthusiasm for the Green Projects...this can not be sabatoged in any way...we have to move forward as a country or we will die for not trying.
    I understand the protection mode many have taken in America, a country loved by it residents myself included, but there has to be a balance on this somewhere.

    September 6, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  14. smiff

    kinda like Hirohito resigning for spitting on the side walk. The cheesey petition was a joke compared to his real problems with race and equality. Besides what does this loser have to do with the healthcare debate any way. Shows that these thugs even politicize being justly chased away from the constitution. Special interests and healthcare haters????? GOOD GRIEF!!!!!!

    September 6, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  15. aimeeg

    I find it laughable that he states there was a smear campaign. His own words brought him down, but as usual the White House wants us to believe that this man that they put in such high level position that has to answer to no one, would sign a paper he never read and say the things he did, but we are supposed to believe that suddenly he no longer thinks that way. My mother taught me, you are the company you keep, and the company that the White House keeps is very revealing about the direction they intend to take this country. God help us.

    September 6, 2009 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  16. Matthew09

    I had high hopes for this dude.

    Remember, he said that those communist leanings were something of the past. But he has moved on past those feelings. He said he was young and naive.

    Still far better than saying he "wishes the president fails."

    September 6, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  17. JV

    One czar down, 29 left to go. No pinko loving commies in the UNITED STATES government please!

    September 6, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  18. Little Change from Obama

    Thank God he is going. (Oh No – some Liberal Nut Job will point out I wrote God).

    It is well known by many what this guy is all about. A racist. A Marxist.

    When do we begin to judge Mr. Obama by the company (thugs) that he keeps?

    The change that is coming from Obama is change that I want no part of. You Obama backers better wake up to the fact that you have been sold a bill of goods that has nothing to do with his real agenda.

    The media needs to wake up and stop their Lovefest and tell it like it is!

    We need to take back America!!!!!!

    September 6, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  19. Freedom

    This man was part of a radical part of the Obama goverment. He was a commie, and the way it looks he was a left wing nut job. Yet lets not kid ourselfs their is still parts of the Obama goverment that are still dangerous to our country. As long as these CZARS are still around Obama breaks the 10th admendment to the constitution. And these CZARS what ever plant their from its a strange one. The plant I grow up on always said the United States stood for great things a Voice that spoke louder then any other country. Yet obama and all his CZARS seem to think that we should speak low, and not be heard they would rather be part of a group. After all they our socialist and thats what their ideals are. Well to the CZARS this is the United States ,and it will never change we are what we our the people who take pride on their individualism.

    September 6, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  20. champly

    Dear Lindie – you need to understand terms before you use them. A "smear" is always a lie or a distortion of fact. Mr. Van Jones was not smeared. No lies have been told about Mr. Van Jones. He is in fact a racist, a Marxist, and a hater of America. Read his words, listen to his speeches. The fact that Mr. Obama made him a close advisor tell us that Mr. Obama is a threat to the very survivial of the United States.

    There will be a consitutional crisis within the next few months that will sweep Mr. Obama from the presidency. His association with such dangerous radicals will not be tolerated by the American peopel.

    September 6, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  21. jen

    Good, He was just another Racist and does not belong in Politics

    September 6, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  22. MLM411

    You finally decided to cover the story CNN...and then it's practically a "glowing" article. If the administration or the mainstream media did its job of vetting this man, he would NEVER have been in this job. He is a self-avowed communist, 9/11 truther (he was a long-time backer, not a one-time signature on a petition folks), racist (he has tons of rantings about "white" people), supporter of cop killers, etc. What else does the American public need to know? And he was in charge of $30 BILLION of the taxpayer dollars for his "green jobs" post. Ridiculous. CNN – why don't you run a story with all of this information....his videos alone show exactly who he is?

    September 6, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  23. Banderman

    The media is so completely out of touch with reality. Independents generally have not been supporting Obama in any manner of speaking. For the record, most don't care about his constant yanking of the race card of if Obama is purple with green polka dots; his policies, his choice of appointee's, his misinterpretation of the United States Constitution, and radical political agenda pretty much sucks. Van Jones has resigned from pressure by 'We the people'. Obama must be held accountable for his choices. There is no way Obama was not aware of Van Jones radical views; if Obama claims he did not know, this simply illustrates his own lack of qualification for the Office of the President of the United States. "I didn't know" or "I was unaware" just doesn't work when one is the President charged with interviewing, vetting, and filling Administration positions. This would be akin to Obama hiring Louis Farrakhan and then claiming he did not 'know' his views ahead of time. We would not buy it then, and we will not buy it now.

    September 6, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  24. Jim

    My God will the window licking Retardlicans please just go and live in the third world countries they represent. The intelligence level in the Retradlican party borders on caveman levels. Politics, so easy a Retardlican can do it.

    September 6, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  25. mnbob

    Lies? Distortions? No, it's fact. You said these things yourself! The only lies are from Jones hiimself saying he's sorry for saying the things he said!

    September 6, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
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